In which the world of culinary hedonism is explored with a cup and a half of curiosity, a heaping tablespoon of passion and a dash of clumsiness.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Post #107 ~ Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

I'm delighted that a friend of mine from Buffalo is arriving in Singapore to join her husband, my friend and colleague (and neighbor!) for the rest of the semester! I wanted to give her something to say "Welcome back!" and knowing how I feel when I'm jetlagged, I decided on soup. Something light. Something simple. I found this recipe, and naturally, utterly failed to follow any of the directions. However, it has been taste-tested and approved by said neighbor, and, if I do say so myself, I think it is quite good!

Here's what you'll need. Again, I'd like to point out that this was a recipe that I adopted from foodiecrush, but I butchered the directions to such an extent, I felt it merited its own post by yours truly!

  • Splash of EVOO
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 kg. skinless and boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water with 2 chicken bouillon dissolved
  • Hearty splash of white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1/2 cup Wegmans Mountain Red Blend rice
  • 1 full stem fresh tarragon, chopped
The directions on the blog are quite straightforward. However, I did not realize how much of my brain's cognitive powers had been sapped by a double-header of COM101 today. So here's how I went about it.

Put on a good rainy day album. I chose Death Cab for Cutie's Transatlantacism Demos. Start choppin'. I chopped up the carrots, onion, celery, garlic and leek, and put them all in a bowl. I've never cooked with leeks before, but I'm really happy that to say that this is another new veggie that's going to become a staple in my soups.

Chop up the tarragon and add it to the veggies (this is the point where my brain and my attention span seriously parted ways with the directions). Chop the lemon in half and squeeeeeeeeeeze the juice over everything. It smells SOOOO GOOOD! Today is the first day of spring, too, and while this isn't a terribly big deal in Singapore where it's summer year round, the Northerner in me still feels that chopping up all these fresh smelling veggies was a good springtime thing to be doing!

Dump a splash of EVOO into a large soup pot. Start it heating.

Heat it way too much. Back that baby down.

Chop up the chicken, season with salt, and slide into the hot oil to brown.


Okay, so the chicken is browning fine without the flour. Whatever. Add a hearty splash of Chardonnay to the chicken. Mmmmmm! Smells even better! (I love cooking with wine! Sometimes I even add it too the food!).

Dump ALL the veggies and tarragon and lemon into the pot and stir it around. Smells really good. Realize at this point you were supposed to do all of this separately. Shrug. Carry on.

Pour in the stock and realize you're one cup short. Quickly dissolve two Herb Ox bouillon cubes in a cup of water. Pour it in! Dump in another cup of water shy a bit, since you've added wine... 

Turn it down and let it simmer. I probably had it simmering for about 15-20 minutes, and then added my half cup of rice and simmered it for 20 more. I tasted the broth after the first 10 minutes, and it was pretty puckerful (I just made that word up. "Puckerful," © A. Lohiser, 2014) with all that lemon and tarragon. I'm pleased to say that it mellows beautifully over the course of the cooking time. I turned off the heat and dished some up in a take-away container for my friends to enjoy in good health and good company!

And I'll be enjoying a lot of bowls of this soup, now and in the future, that's for sure! This recipe is now part of my regular rotation! So fast and easy, healthy, and yummy!

Yours in the love of good food and wine,

The blogger is not an experienced chef. She takes no responsibility for the quality of the meals prepared while following her advice. Use your own judgment regarding cooking times and proper food handling.